Testimonials

School Project Advisors

• “Our project certainly brought more awareness to our school. All the projects started powerful conversations about mental illness and normalized mental health issues. Many members of the stand together team started this project with misconceptions about mental health and were able to learn for themselves and teach others. This project taught my students an immense amount of skills….. Next year, our school will pilot a mental health clinic at our school. We are very excited about this opportunity and hope to partner with this program for our stand together projects in the future.” – Max Morgans, Propel Braddock HS Advisor

• “Since our main objective was educating our peers; people started being kinder, inviting others to sit with them, holding others accountable for their actions and watching their words. We really love the program at the High School. With the ST kids having a voice, they created worthwhile projects that actually meant something to them. By doing that, kids were motivated to do more and have buy in from their peers. The change in culture has been amazing and has created a positive environment for all kids.” –  Lauren Rowe, West Mifflin HS Advisor

• “Stand together is a tremendous opportunity for teaching young students about mental health and rising awareness about the stigma too often associated with mental illness. The program empowers students to become advocates and to educate their peers, family members, and the broader school community about specific mental conditions as well as steps that can be taken in order to increase understanding and promote empathy. More than just anti-bullying initiative, Stand Together gives students the chance to reflect upon their own experiences and the knowledge they acquire from the program to be leaders both in the school and in their communities.” – Bryan McCarthy, Arsenal MS Advisor

• “I am responsible for an intense, heavy work load each year. #standtogether is the highlight of the work I do each year because I am able to interact with students in a positive way about an important topic. As a school counselor, I am concerned about the academic, social and emotional well-being of all my students. It’s nice to be able to have students trained to take on leadership roles to help spread the word that mental health is as important physical health and school work. My students are so proud to say they have written a grant to institute a program at their school to stop the stigma. Their self-esteem is boosted because they feel good about what they are doing and they see the positive impact the program has on the student body. #standtogether is truly an impactful program that pulls together an entire school for a great cause.” – Linda Cappazolli, Brentwood HS Advisor

Students

• “What I learned in Stand Together was that even though somebody has a mental illness, they should still be treated equally because you never judge a book by its cover. A person with mental illness can still achieve the same goals” – Arlene Sheffey

• “Mental illness is extremely serious, and stigma is not fun. But, do you know what is fun? Everyone in our school standing together to stop stigma and giving a positive impact to people with a mental illness.”  – Stephanie Moles, 9th Grade

• “I had so much fun participating in the activities. I didn’t realize that many celebrities had mental illnesses. No one is alone.” Shannon Milius

• “The Stand Together project was a great success because it helped me learn about mental illness in an enjoyable way, I would recommend it to every school to do this project. “ Alendjrah, 11th Grade

• “Participating in Stand Together helped me to feel comfortable in my own skin, and made me feel like I could truly make a difference in the fight to end stigma.” -Riley, Grade 8

• I just wanted to let you know today’s assembly was beautiful, and I’ve only heard positive feedback! I’m so blessed to be a part of a group like this. I wish I would’ve joined last year and been able to do so much more. Thank you for everything you do! You make everyone feel special and important. – Jess

Principals

i. “The #standtogether project had a positive impact on the student body with its formative message. Our kids love it!” – Mr. Jason Olexa, Brentwood HS

ii. “We appreciate your funding. Without it, our students would not have had these wonderful opportunities. We look forward to next year.” – Lisa Duval, Steel Valley HS

iii. “This is a wonderful group, and we need a program like this in our building.” – Mrs. White West Mifflin MS

iv. “You did a great job of bringing this to the school. I want to sustain and support this program as long as it exists. Great job once again to you and your kids. I love it when I see teachers getting emotional about their work. Your students will never forget all that you do/did for them. Thanks again for helping to make our school a well-rounded environment for all.” – Phillip Woods, West Mifflin HS

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